German college students spending the summer as gladiators.
Found this short little article: http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100329-26185.html
Doesn't give any details as to what weapons specifically they will be studying but I am curious as to what sources they are drawing from for the weapons training and what they will be using for training weapons. In the pic it looks like they each just have a single stick about dagger length so I wonder if it will end up looking like a Dog Brothers gathering with renfair clothing. I'd love to see wooden gladius', tridents and such but obviously those are more dangerous than regular Escrima/Kali style sticks. Anyone have a link to something with more information? I can only find the same blurbs and photo.
I know some folks who've done some research into Roman gladiatorial training. Seems that there's a boatload of details that can be gleaned from period artwork. Especially frescoes and floor art in area closely associated with gladiatorial training or events. Apparently the Romans liked to show details that modern eyes wouldn't consider worth recording for history.
But, no, it's not exactly a "Fight Manual on the Wall."
Peace favor your sword,
Health and Safety will ruin the research. You can't train like a gladiator in the modern world.
Well, if you are interested, Ars Dimicandi take things pretty seriously:
YouTube- Ars Dimicandi - i Gladiatori
Of course not the same thing as back in the good old days with cutting and slicing, but still pretty intense at times.
Some Italians still enjoy playing it rough and have done all through history, from the bridge wars in various cities like Florence to the bare knuckle football that is still being done in Florence.
So, these guys might have tough couple of weeks ahead of them. :)
YouTube- Calcio Storico Fiorentino
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/31/2010 3:50am at .
Heh, that stuff is every day life in Glasgow. Hell a trip to the local shops can be that rough in some parts.
Gladiators were slaves, they lived and died for entertainment. You cannot simulate that. The attrition rate was extremely high. What you will see in the research is no worse than a MMA training camp.
Glasgow certainly seems to have its problems judging from the statistics. Must be a rough place to raise kids. I hope you get things sorted out eventually.
But, the modern, and possibly ancient, gladiator games aswell as the bareknuckle football of Florence are sports, performed for entertainment, which is an important distinction. Pretty rough, still:
YouTube- Football Punch-Up - Italy
Of course there is a big difference between true Roman gladiators and modern practitioners, but I do believe that pretty good research can and has been done. And I agree that the training probably won't be any harder than MMA practice. However, some of the Italians don't appear to be too concerned with safety or with avoiding smaller injuries like concussions, bruises and fractures.
Also, there is current research that not all gladiators really fought for their lives although most of them initially were slaves, a few of them actually were free men drawn by the money, fame and women. At the end of the republic half of the gladiators were free men and all gladiators no matter what their origin were, were too valuable to the mecenats to be killed off regularly. Primarily, convicted criminals, inexperienced slaves/pow were killed off and then as a symbolical gesture of generosity on behalf of the sponsor. Even senators and women participated occassionally.
I have even seen references to how the specific weapons of the gladiator eventually were designed to injure and draw blood rather than kill, which of course is scary enough to most people living today.
It might just be that the old gladiators were a little bit closer to the German Klopffechters and the more prestigious competitions between the Marxbruder and the Freifecthers and even modern Ars Dimicandi show fighting than we think, albeit quite brutal and bloody. Huge differences still, of course. :)
Oh, and here's an article that actually mentions a newly found training manual:
Here is another short but interesting article: http://www.abc.net.au/science/articl...20/2038358.htm
And a few lengthier:
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/31/2010 6:02am at .
What, don't be daft, it is a great place to live. The edge is what gives it character. You never know what's going to happen on a night out. It's what makes life interesting and worth living. 70 years of sterile boredom, so I can die never actually doing anything exciting. **** THAT.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
I am not convinced the research project is worthwhile. I don't think the parameters are sufficient to even approximately simulate a gladiators life. Personally it comes off as someone's vanity project to me.
As for the injuries thing, there are lots of clubs like that, I concussed a couple of my students, dislocated fingers and given a couple of scars. Got a few myself from my students. Hell, I used to go to a Tai Chi free fighting group where we fought bare knuckle and unprotected. More than a few lost teeth and burst faces, lost a molar myself at that group. This isn't unusual or in anyway extreme. Alot of groups operate at that level here. However, that is still well below the wounding level to end a gladiator match. I doubt anyone would risk the 1 in 9 death rate.
Last edited by Polar Bear; 3/31/2010 6:09am at .
I didn't mean to insult you Glaswegians in any way, but personally I would prefer to get my kicks in other ways than expecting street fighting, and more importantly I don't want my kids to end up in bad places... Even my city has its fair share of problems with gang fighting and even some bombings in the centre of the city and not uncommonly, shooting in public places, which makes you think of where your kids grow up. Having kids can change your perspective quite a bit.
I am sure that Glasgow is a great place too and I would love to go there. Everything has two sides and the city seems quite beautiful.
I'm not sure I disagree with you regarding the specific research project. I just think that it is possible to do good research into the subject of how gladiator martial arts were performed.
And even though many of you practice rough, it doesn't change anything with regards to some of the Italians actually practicing pretty rough aswell, does it? Florentine Calcio Fiorentino is an accepted spectator sport, which is quite a lot more than what is accepted in many European countries. This project MIGHT prove interesting if done right. :) I don't think we know enough about they will be doing yet to really judge this experiment.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/31/2010 6:42am at .
I have kids. There is a different mindset to children here. We tend to want to toughen our kids, boys especially. I remember as a kid my mother locking me out of the house until I fought the neighbourhood thugs who were trying to bully me. She didn't care if I won or lost as long as I stood and fought.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
It's extremely beautiful when it isn't raining. Unfortunately that isn't too often.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
The problem is anything that would be really interesting would never make it past a University ethics committee. Especially with the EU human rights laws that make it impossible to waive your rights and accept risk as a competent human being. We all know the problems we face every week in the trade off between safety and reality. I even closed my club to the public and made it a private members club to get round some of the legislation in the UK to allow us to train in the way we want. Imagine the red tape a university would face.
Originally Posted by Grimnir69
Seems like you have the same type of weather as we do... We don't have four seasons here. Only a short spring, a rainy summer and one hell of an autumn. Makes me long for the cold winters of my childhood in the north of Sweden... :)
To a degree most of us want to toughen our kids, and especially the boys. However, I don't want to see them stabbed or kicked to death while on the ground by several perpetrators, something which has happened much too often here. Just the last two months there have been a few such unprovoked street murders done like that.
There has been a shift in what is honourable in the last few decades from winning a "decent and fair" fight to just winning, even against innocent, much weaker and inexperienced victims. This is very sad in my opinion, and makes me want to keep my kids well away from such situations. And as much as I enjoy practicing myself, I really think it would be sad to have to put kids in self-defense classes for protection.
In that respect even some football hooligans can deserve slight respect, since it in part is an outlet between people who share a common understanding, just as Florentine rugby and the old Italian bridge wars. It's as old as humanity and has some form of honour system involved, from what I understand. Not that I share their views in any way. The gangs who attack innocent people however, really deserve an "eye for an eye" at least doubled.
I fully understand about the red tape and restrictions. However, it would be interesting if they would follow the Italian rules that might allow a bit more "intent". However, I too suspect that this might not be the case, especially considering the sponsor.
Regarding the death rate of gladiators, I think you need to differentiate between "real" gladiators and "cannon fodder". The death rate amongst the trained gladiators was quite a lot lower than that of the untrained slaves, criminals and pow, who were more or less executed. This pulls the death rate up a lot.
The picture is also even more complex, since quite a few of the trained gladiators who died did so after the fights of infections and similar causes, due to lacking medical care, which of course still kills you just as much. However, it changes the picture of how gladiatorial combat was performed though.
Last edited by Grimnir69; 3/31/2010 7:49am at .